TNT buys 50 electric 7.5-tonne trucks from SEV

TNT this morning announced an order for 50 Smith Newton electric trucks for its operation.

The company embarked on a six-month trial with one of the British-built 7.5-tonners in January, but was reportedly so impressed with its performance that it brought the test to a close two months early.

TNT had previously said that if the trial proved successful it would replace 10% of its Express fleet (representing 200 vehicles) with electric vehicles, and these 50 trucks are believed to be the first part of that order.

DHL goes greener with heaviest electric truck to date

German parcels giant DHL has commissioned the world's heaviest electric delivery vehicle to date; it will go into service with DHL's Department Stores & Fashion division. The Newton, with a gross vehicle weight of nine tonnes, is designed and built by Smith Electric Vehicles. Its body features specially created side flares and sideguards for improved aerodynamic properties, and was designed by UK commercial vehicle bodywork designer Cartwright.

DHL's head of engineering, Dave Bassett, says: "The vehicle's GVW ensures we have the correct payload along with the capability of carrying an extra battery. We've done some trials on it and will continue to monitor its progress. We expect it is the first of many." The vehicle is propelled by an electric motor which runs off five sodium-nickel-chloride batteries that have three times the energy density of conventional lead-acid batteries. It is said to cover up to 100 miles on a full charge and can do up to 50mph. Recharging from the mains takes 6-8 hours.

The use of electric vehicles is one of many green initiatives DHL is looking into - the company is also considering biofuels and hybrid vehicles.